Stories: Down the Chain
Delta Apparel - USA

Working responsibly toward a more sustainable future

Delta Apparel believes that efficiently and sustainably managing natural resources — water, energy, and cotton — is both a smart business move and a responsible decision for the planet. They are actively focused on conserving these natural resources throughout the manufacturing and distribution process and are committed to minimizing the environmental and financial impact.


Delta Apparel has partnered with several environmental stewardship organizations to ensure their environmental responsibility initiatives contribute positively to a sustainable future. Their goals include profitably reducing water and energy consumption, moderating waste, and supplying their customers with high quality, responsibly-sourced cotton. As a vertically integrated apparel manufacturer, Delta Apparel creates over 90% of their apparel with U.S. cotton. They want to ensure that the U.S. cotton they are using is sustainably sourced. These initiatives, goals, and intentions clearly align with the Cotton LEADSSM mission to advance sustainable cotton sourcing and production. This partnership will help them achieve 100% sustainably-sourced U.S. cotton in their apparel.


Deborah Merrill, Delta Group President and CFO, says this about the partnership “We are excited to join Cotton LEADS and its network of environmentally-conscious companies and partners. This partnership enables us to deepen and broaden our support of the cotton farmers who supply our company with high-quality cotton, allowing us to continue transforming sustainably-sourced cotton into high quality, responsible apparel products for our customers.”


By joining the Cotton LEADS program, Delta Apparel is supporting the front-line cotton farmers who grow and harvest the fiber that they rely on. They believe it is important to support sustainable farming practices as well as sustainability all throughout its vertically integrated supply chain.


Sustainability initiatives are nothing new to Delta Apparel. Learn about a few of their accomplishments below.




Textile operations are located within the Green Valley Industrial Park in Honduras. The Green Valley Industrial Park is certified under the ISO-14001 Environmental Management System, which is widely-considered the world’s “gold standard” for environmental management.


Implemented a digital printing process that utilizes water-based, biodegradable ink technology that is 100% non-hazardous toxin-free, and adheres to the strictest human health and environmental standards.
Partnered with Salt Life® Gives Back, Roatan Marine Park, and Artificial Reefs, International, to continue contributing to the health of our waterways and marine life.


Delta Apparel has implemented many environmental stewardship initiatives over time. Learn about several of them below.


Environmental Stewardship Initiatives

  • Incorporating water re-usage technology into Delta Apparel’s textile dyeing processes
  • Heat recovery systems at its textile facility that transfers outgoing heat from manufacturing processes to warm incoming water, reducing energy usage
  • Facility lighting efficiency improvements emphasizing daylighting and high-efficiency systems
  • Waste recycling and re-usage
  • Reductions in water consumption and wastewater production


“As the demand for apparel grows, so does the demand for high quality cotton. At Delta Apparel, we believe we can continue to serve this demand while raising awareness for sustainably-sourced and responsibly-grown cotton and also reducing the environmental impact of cotton production,” commented Merrill.


Learn more about the Cotton LEADS/Delta Apparel partnership by exploring this Q&A.

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